Category Archives: Musings

Family by the Fire

Family

Wow, I’m 40. Chased a few dreams, found one or two. But nothing compares to my wife and two boys. Houston will soon be 6, and Heyward is approaching 6 months. They all recently joined me on the trail for a great 10 mile hike. My birthday wish is for more time by the fire as we share a common respect for the world around us and plans for the next adventure.

Flying Bluebird

Collaboration

Male Bluebirds

This is a bird box in my backyard where a pair of bluebirds are nesting. I am quite familiar with the male and female, but over the weekend I noticed the presence of another male. After watching a little further I noticed the one male helping the other with gathering food for the chicks. I thought that was a little odd. Turns out that when young males can’t find a mate they help their parents.

Last Song

 

Hummingbird

As a boy I had the distinct pleasure of accompanying a local ornithologist on bird banding adventures where we would string fine nets across the marshes and forests of Charleston, SC. Sometimes a Grosbeak or a Sharpshin would punish my hands as I tried to free them, but it was always worth it to hold them for an instance, band and weigh their fragile bodies, and hope to see them and their brethren the next year.

Now as an adult and living in the big city of Atlanta, I wake up every morning to the intricate songs of birds that I can’t believe are able to navigate the incessant dangers of the modern world.

I cringe when I hear stories of southern hunters taking out hawks and owls because they prey on their precious quail and doves. Or watching a not-so-innocent house cat scope out my bird feeders.

Reading this article on migrating birds was the equivalent of waking up on one future morning and the air being filled with nothing but silence.

New South

New_South

Heading shrimp off the boat; cotillion classes and confirmations; shooting clays and shucking oysters; and wrought iron fences surrounding the soft safety net of abiding colonial homes would all satisfy a particular southern lens. But that is a sliver of a much larger picture.

Over time I’ve had the chance to live in various southern states: Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina. Carrying a camera through these environs, I’ve tried to find my place with it. What I have discovered is a variety that only rare chances of history, geography and biology could ever possibly create.

The South has never been just black and white but a colorful infusion of different cultures and ethnicities since the beginning of human time. It is a Puerto Rican woman astride a horse in Ybor City, Florida. It is an Indian model in Atlanta, Georgia. And a young Charleston, South Carolina girl with shotgun shells for nails.

Spruce-fir forests similar to Canadian environments propel rivers and kayakers to oceans that carry Manatees, Great Whites and professional surfers. Southern workers weld and build products that are shipped and flown to the farthest reaches of the Earth while we embrace globalization in our smallest communities.

This contrasting and constantly changing amalgamation of time, place and reach shapes the South as I see it. When I am lucky, I may just convey some small part of it in pictures.

NCAA

I post this because I know quite a few folks who have been hard at work on the ncaa.com website. Burning the midnight oil at Turner Broadcasting’s headquarters in Atlanta, Drupal developers are bringing some very cool functionality to the Web. Aside from the impressive organization of content, live streaming video, social media, developer toolkit and much more, I especially like the way they have integrated ads in to the experience.

This is a great use case of a media company using open source effectively to build a profitable and user-friendly experience online.

“I Listen Therefore I Am”

NPR

Visited the studios of NPR recently. Such an iconic brand that continues to evolve despite the emergence of many other communication channels. In fact, they were one of the first media companies to develop an iPad application – it is still one of the better ones out there today. I also attended a keynote luncheon where Vivian Schiller spoke. When asked where she is taking NPR she replied, NPR is in a unique position where the audience defines and takes us there.

Rally to Restore Sanity

Rally_to_Restore_Sanity

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I happened to be in Washington, D.C. for the Online News Association 2010 conference when the Rally to Restore Sanity took place. Needless to say, I took a little walk down to the National Mall to see what all the fuss was about. There wasn’t much fuss, just a few hundred thousand people blowing mainly positive steam on a beautiful fall day in the nation’s capital. I’m neither a Democrat or a Republican, but I do need satire and sarcasm, and John Stewart and Stephen Colbert certainly fit the bill.

I produced the above collage from a few pictures I took that day.

Happy Halloween Deadpool

Deadpool

This is a little taste of dark geek humor. I originally took this photo in Philadelphia about a month ago at the Christ Church Burial Ground. Benjamin Franklin is buried here along with some other original signers of the Declaration of Independence. I had a little fun with it and added the names of a few technology companies that recently met their maker (click here for a larger view).